WARREN, NJ: "Phygital" shoppers have high expectations and combine online and in-store experiences in whatever way is most convenient for them, utilising a range of technologies to help them find what they want, according to a new study.

Technology business Mindtree surveyed 2,400 customers across the US, asking respondents to rate more than 35 online and in-store features covering the apparel, electronics, grocery, and home and garden segments.

"Their behaviour has flipped the traditional supply and demand model," it said, "With today's connected shopper, demand now discovers supply."

Shopper preferences and desires differed by market segment, but five broad themes emerged, not all of which are being successfully addressed by retailers.

There is now a widespread expectancy of a seamless experience across all channels, with 60% of those surveyed saying they combine online and in-store purchases. And one third want to be able to return items to any store, even if they bought a product online.

There is increasing demand for the use of technology in-store: one third want to be able to either locate products or to place orders at kiosks for subsequent home delivery.

Shoppers also want more information, whether online or in-store. For example, 23% of apparel shoppers want to have a 360 degree view of online products, but less than 5% of retailers currently offer this. And 20% of grocery shoppers want recipe recommendations and product suggestions.

Nearly all respondents (90%) were willing to share their personal information if it meant a better shopping experience. But that didn't extend to social media, where a mere 4% indicated they wanted to get involved in social networking with retailers, although 95% of retailers provide this option.

Finally, Mindtree said that shoppers will spend more if they have a remarkable experience, one example of which is the ability to use technology to find out how crowded a store is (18% of apparel shoppers).

"There is no one-size-fits-all approach," said Radha R, evp/Retail, CPG & Manufacturing at Mindtree, "but retailers would be wise to do a comprehensive assessment of their omnichannel readiness to engage and win over these new shoppers."

Data sourced from PR Newswire, Mindtree; additional content by Warc staff